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The 1998 Texaco Grand Prix of Houston was the seventeenth round of the 1998 CART FedEx Champ Car World Series season, held on October 4, 1998, at a street adjacent to the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. The race was a rain-interrupted race, with the start being delayed 30 minutes due to heavy rain[1]. Another heavy rainshower after 70 laps out of the scheduled 100 forced the race to be stopped, with the win handed to Dario Franchitti, who was leading at the time.

United States 1998 Houston
Race details
Race 17 of 19 in the 1998 CART season
Houston CART circuit transparent.png
Original track layout of the Houston Grand Prix.
DateOctober 4, 1998
Official name1998 Texaco Grand Prix of Houston
LocationGeorge R. Brown Convention Center
Houston, Texas, United States
CourseTemporary street course
1.68 mi / 2.703 km
Distance70 laps
117.6 mi / 189.21 km
WeatherHeavy rain
Pole position
DriverGreg Moore (Forsythe Racing)
Time59.508
Fastest lap
DriverAlex Zanardi (Chip Ganassi Racing)
Time1:02.797 (on lap 59 of 70)
Podium
FirstDario Franchitti (Team KOOL Green)
SecondAlex Zanardi (Chip Ganassi Racing)
ThirdTony Kanaan (Tasman Motorsports Group)

The race was the scene of an infamous Lap 48 collision between winner Franchitti and his Team KOOL Green teammate, Paul Tracy. While running second, Tracy attempted to pass Franchitti on the inside going into the left-handed Turn 6; however, Franchitti was already making the turn, leading to the teammates touching, and Tracy spinning, brushing the inside wall enough to bend his left front suspension, ending his race.[2] This led to a terse conversation over the radio between Tracy and team owner Barry Green.[3] When Tracy returned to pit road, he and Green nearly came to blows in plain view of television cameras and the crowd on the start-finish straight.[3] Ironically, within days of their near fistfight, Tracy and Green agreed to a four-year contract extension.[4]

ClassificationEdit

RaceEdit

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 27   Dario Franchitti Team Green 70 1:36:30.979 2 20+1
2 1   Alex Zanardi Chip Ganassi Racing 70 +0.646 8 16
3 21   Tony Kanaan Tasman Motorsports Group 70 +5.792 11 14
4 12   Jimmy Vasser Chip Ganassi Racing 70 +8.342 3 12
5 25   Max Papis Arciero-Wells Racing 70 +11.170 14 10
6 40   Adrián Fernández Patrick Racing 70 +13.425 12 8
7 2   Al Unser, Jr. Team Penske 70 +17.725 16 6
8 8   Bryan Herta Team Rahal 70 +26.906 6 5
9 10   Richie Hearn Della Penna Motorsports 70 +27.812 18 4
10 9   JJ Lehto Hogan Racing 70 +35.089 21 3
11 20   Scott Pruett Patrick Racing 69 +1 Lap 19 2
12 36   Alex Barron All American Racing 69 +1 Lap 20 1
13 24   Robby Gordon Arciero-Wells Racing 69 +1 Lap 24
14 18   Mark Blundell PacWest Racing Group 68 +2 Laps 22
15 98   Vincenzo Sospiri All American Racing 68 +2 Laps 28
16 77   Arnd Meier Davis Racing 68 +2 Laps 26
17 3   André Ribeiro Team Penske 66 +4 Laps 10
18 17   Maurício Gugelmin PacWest Racing Group 52 Electrical 16
19 34   Dennis Vitolo Payton/Coyne Racing 49 Electrical 27
20 26   Paul Tracy Team Green 48 Contact 4
21 5   Gil de Ferran Walker Racing 38 Spun off 7
22 33   Patrick Carpentier Forsythe Racing 36 Contact 25
23 7   Bobby Rahal Team Rahal 35 Suspension 9
24 16   Hélio Castro-Neves Bettenhausen Racing 35 Suspension 17
25 19   Michel Jourdain Jr. Payton/Coyne Racing 13 Contact 23
26 99   Greg Moore Forsythe Racing 3 Contact 1 1
27 11   Christian Fittipaldi Newman-Haas Racing 3 Contact 5
28 6   Michael Andretti Newman-Haas Racing 2 Steering 13

Caution flagsEdit

Laps Cause
1-3 Multiple cars spinning due to rain
5-9 Moore (99), Fittipaldi (11) contact
14-16 Jourdain Jr. (19), Gordon (24) contact, road block. Later red-flagged.
39-43 Carpentier (33) contact
46 Vitolo (34) contact
68-70 Heavy rain

Lap LeadersEdit

Laps Leader
1-70 Dario Franchitti
 
Driver Laps led
Dario Franchitti 70

Point standings after raceEdit

Pos Driver Points
1   Alex Zanardi 250
2   Jimmy Vasser 148
3   Dario Franchitti 143
4   Adrián Fernández 134
5   Greg Moore 120

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "CHAMPCAR/CART: Max Papis Claim Toyota's First Top Five". Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  2. ^ 1998 Texaco Grand Prix of Houston Part 8 (Collision occurs at 4:02 mark)
  3. ^ a b 1998 Thrills And Spills (Part 2 - Featuring CART and USAC) (Audio of conversation at 2:49 mark)
  4. ^ "Tracy, Green shake hands, come out smiling". Houston Chronicle. 7 October 1998. Retrieved 25 October 2012.